European and Olympic seats to seek at Trials
Who will row in Brandenburg and Rio? We will get closer to finding out early next week.
115 rowers are set to go to the start line of next week’s Olympic-season GB Rowing Team trials with just 48 Rio places on offer later this summer and earlier seats to be won at the European Championships.
The announcement of the crews for the European Championships will take place on April 6.
Sir David Tanner, British Rowing’s Performance Director said: “This is the event when we test the rowers under pressure in pairs and singles to see who has got what it takes to win. The tension is never greater than in Olympic year.”
The field for next week’s (Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23) men’s pair event will be headed by names like Alex Gregory, Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash, Will Satch, Pete Reed, Andrew T Hodge and Constantine Louloudis who are all Olympic medallists, three of them Olympic Champions.
Gregory and Sbihi are tipped to take a hat-trick of titles since 2014 and, for Sbihi, victory would mean a fourth consecutive victory at this event.
Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are stand-out favourites to win the women’s pair event. The duo hold the Olympic, World and European titles although Jess Eddie and Polly Swann – the latter a World Champion with Glover in 2013 – could run them close as they did in 2014.
Singular “single” and women’s sweep battles in store
Perhaps more intriguing could be the battle for top honours in the open men’s single scull.
Angus Groom won the December assessment. The young Scot is making his mark after joining the senior squad from the ranks of the U23 World medallists.
With Charles Cousins absent through injury, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell should feel he has a chance to extend his remarkable trials record to nine overall wins. He won eight titles consecutively from 2005-2012 before Cousins took over the mantle.
2013 and 2014 World quadruple scull medallists Pete Lambert, Sam Townsend, Graeme Thomas as well as Groom’s erstwhile World U23 medal team-mate Jack Beaumont, who is back on track after last summer’s serious injury, and 2015 double-scullers Jonny Walton and John Collins are also in the mix.
At these trials only 2012 Olympic gold medallist Andrew T Hodge, racing next week in the men’s pair with reigning World pairs silver medallist Matt Langridge, can equal the 10 titles won to date by Katherine Grainger who sits out next week as she is recovering from a minor niggle, leaving Vicky Thornley the favourite to win the open women’s single.
Frances Houghton, a 2008 Olympic silver medallist and previous, multiple winner of these trials in the single, has swapped into a competitive “sweep” group seeking seats in the Rio-qualified women’s eight.
Eddie summed up the mood in the squad when she said recently: “The focus right now is purely on selection, that is the big thing weighing on people’s minds. It’s pretty intense but it’s in our own hands. If we’re good enough we’ll be in the boat, if we’re not we’ll, miss out.”
Seriously heavy competition for the lightweight titles
Last season’s finals session was marked by a sizzling finale to the lightweight women’s single scull when Olympic Champion Kat Copeland was eased out in a three-boat photo-finish by Imogen Walsh and, then rookie, Charlotte Taylor.
Taylor and Copeland went on to race in the lightweight double for GB in the ensuing season and won World silver in Aiguebelette, France, and Walsh won World silver in the single.
Next week’s trials will feature both a single and a pairs event for the lightweight men as selection is honed down to the two Olympic boats – the light four and double.
Richard Chambers and Will Fletcher won World silver in the double last September. Fletcher remains a strong contender for next week’s light single title alongside twice previous winner Jamie Kirkwood and Zak Lee Green but Chambers has a hand injury which will keep him on the sidelines.
In the pairs event Joel Cassells, from the same town – Coleraine – as 2012 Olympic medallists Alan Campbell, Peter and Richard Chambers – will seek to impress in his continuing rise from recent student rowing days.
This will be a small but tight event with Peter Chambers, Mark Aldred, Chris Bartley, Jonno Clegg and Sam Scrimgeour all with senior medal experience racing against relative newcomers like Jamie Copus and Sam Mottram.
Racing will take place as follows:
Time-trials (heats) – 09.45 – 11.00 on Tuesday 22 March
Semi-finals – 15.00 – 16.25 on Tuesday 22 March
Finals – 10.00 – 12.30 Wednesday 23 March
All times of racing are subject to the weather and members of the media who are attending the event should check with the press officer on 07831 755351 or firstname.lastname@example.org before travelling to the event, particularly if there are high winds.
Any updates to schedules will be posted on twitter: @GBRowingTeam and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/gbrowingteam
(As at Thursday 17 March)
* denotes U23
Tom Barras (Leander Club/Staines/07.01.94)*
Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers School/Coleraine/09.05.83)
Frazier Christie (Leander Club/Bath/11.01.93)
John Collins (Leander Club/Whitton/24.01.89)
Angus Groom (Leander Club/Glasgow/16.06.92)
Peter Lambert (Leander Club/Maidenhead/03.12.86)
Rowan Law (Leander Club/Nottingham/01.12.96)*
Nick Middleton (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/12.08.88)
George Stewart (Molesey BC/Esher/14.04.95)*
Jon Stimpson (Nottingham RC/Gex, France/18.07.90)
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC/Preston/08.11.88)
Sam Townsend (Reading Univ BC/Reading/26.11.85)
Sam Twine (Reading Univ BC/Tavistock/06.01.94)*
Jonny Walton (Leander Club/Leicester/06.10.90)
Chris Boddy (Leander Club/Thornaby-on-Tees/16.11.87)
Cameron Buchan (Leander Club/Dunipace/03.12.92)
Timothy Clarke (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/07.04.91)
Oliver Cook (Univ of London BC/Windsor/05.06.90)
Michael Glover (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Burnham/03.06.95)*
Matt Gotrel (Leander Club/Chipping Campden/01.03.89)
Matt Langridge (Leander Club/Northwich/20.05.83)
Luke Moon (Molesey BC/Deal/25.03.93)
George Nash (Molesey BC/Guildford/02.10.89)
Tom Ransley (Leander Club/Ashford/06.09.85)
Pete Reed (Leander Club/Nailsworth/27.07.81)
Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC/Surbiton/27.03.88)
Alan Sinclair (Leander Club/Inverness/16.10.85)
Barnaby Stentiford (Leander Club/Ippleden/06.02.91)
William Warr (Leander Club/Tunbridge Wells/12.03.92)
Matthew Aldridge (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Christchurch/11.03.96)*
Paul Bennett (Univ of London BC/Leeds/16.12.88)
Phil Congdon (Leander Club/Bury St Edmunds/06.06.89)
Scott Durant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Lancaster/12.02.88)
Thomas Ford (Leander Club/Holmes Chapel/03.10.92)
Alex Gregory (Leander Club/Wormington/11.03.84)
Chris Heywood (Molesey BC/Ascot/29.05.94)*
Andrew T Hodge (Molesey BC/Hebden/03.03.79)
Constantine Louloudis (Oxford Univ BC/London/15.09.91)
Callum McBrierty (Leander Club/Edinburgh/13.08.92)
Lewis McCue (Robert Gordon Uni/Aberdeen/26.12.94)*
Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Univ of London BC/Durham/13.04.88)
George Rossiter (Leander Club/Newbury/09.03.92)
Matt Rossiter (Leander Club/Newbury/25.09.89)
Will Satch (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/09.06.89)
Emily Carmichael (Leander Club/Cheltenham/29.05.92)
Debbie Flood (Leander Club/Guiseley/27.02.80)
Georgia Francis (Imperial College BC/Newbury/18.08.94)*
Katherine Grainger (St Andrew BC/Glasgow/12.11.75) (injured)
Lucinda Gooderham (Leander Club/Garboldisham/09.06.84)
Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne (Reading Univ BC/Hereford/01.10.94)*
Jessica Leyden (Leander Club/Todmorden/22.02.95)
Holly Nixon (Leander Club/Enniskillen/07.12.93
Tina Stiller (Tees RC/Yarm/23.06.87)
Karen Bennett (Leander Club/Edinburgh/05.02.89)
Rosamund Bradbury (Leander Club/Banstead/17.12.88)
Jess Eddie (London RC/Durham/07.10.84)
Fiona Gammond (Leander Club/Bicester/19.10.92)
Helen Glover (Minerva Bath RC/Penzance/17.06.86)
Katie Greves (Leander Club/Oxford/02.09.82)
Frances Houghton (Univ of London Tyrian Club/Oxford/19.09.80)
Caragh McMurtry (Southampton Coalporters/Southampton/22.08.91)
Vicki Meyer-Laker (Leander Club/Premnay/18.03.88)
Olivia Carnegie-Brown (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Henley-on-Thames/28.03.91)
Rebecca Chin (Agecroft RC/Deganwy/11.12.91)
Donna Etiebet (Imperial College BC/London/29.04.86)
Zoe Lee (Imperial College BC/Richmond/15.12.85)
Holly Norton (Leander Club/Johannesburg, SA/01.01.93)
Louisa Reeve (Leander Club/London/16.05.84)
Heather Stanning (Army RC/Lossiemouth/26.01.85)
Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC/London/25.06.84)
Jo Wratten (Tees RC/Middlesbrough/23.03.92)
Richard Chambers (Leander Club/Coleraine/10.06.85) (injured)
John Hale (Imperial College BC/Cambridge/28.02.88)
Jonathan Jackson (Leander Club/Henley-on-Thames/02.06.95)*
Jamie Kirkwood (Leander Club/Newcastle/30.08.89)
Samuel Mottram (Leander Club/Stoke Mandeville/14.11.94)*
Sam Tuck (Molesey BC/Peterborough/26.07.93)
Chris Bartley (Leander Club/Wrexham/02.02.84)
Peter Chambers (Oxford Brookes Univ/Coleraine/14.03.90)
Sam Scrimgeour (Imperial College BC/Kirriemuir/28.01.88)
Charles Waite-Roberts (Leander Club/Basingstoke/06.11.92)
Mark Aldred (London RC/Birmingham/18/04.87)
Joel Cassells (Oxford Brookes Univ BC/Coleraine/15.06.94)*
Jonathan Clegg (Leander Club/Maidenhead/14.07.89)
Kat Copeland (Tees RC/Stockton-on-Tees/01.12.90)
Emily Craig (Univ of London BC/Mark Cross/30.11.92)
Gemma Hall (Wallingford RC/Wargrave/10.04.92)
Robyn Hart-Winks (Edinburgh Univ BC/Kirriemuir/07.10.93)
Fran Rawlins (Leander Club/Uckfield/08.07.86)
Brianna Stubbs (Wallingford RC/Poole/13.07.91)
Charlotte Taylor (Putney Town RC/Bedford/14.08.85)
Imogen Walsh (London RC/Inverness/17.01.84)
Henry Fieldman (Molesey BC/Barnes/25.11.88)
Phelan Hill (Leander Club/Bedford/21.07.79)
Zoe De Toledo (Leander Club/London/17.07.87)
Matilda Horn (Univ of London BC/Windsor/16.